Posts tagged with "lifting"

Keep Summer from Wrecking Your Back

Too often we start the summer with enthusiasm, only to be sidetracked by back pain,” says Dr. Bradford Butler, a chiropractor and author of The Blueprint for Back Pain Relief: The Essential Guide to Nonsurgical Solutions .“There are important prevention steps you can take to avoid back pain associated with summer activities and help you enjoy the summer as you should.”

Butler looks at five summer activities that cause back injuries and offers ways to prevent them:

· Travel. Sitting for long periods on car rides or in cramped plane seats can do a number on your spine. “My advice is to bring extra support, such as a folded blanket or inflatable pillow for your lower back and neck,” Butler says. “Wear comfortable shoes that have lots of arch and ankle support. Take driving breaks to move your body during a long trip, and adjust your seat so you’re close to the steering wheel.

· Amusement parks. “People love to experience the rush of riding a rollercoaster, but sadly, their spines pay the price,” Butler says. “All those jerky, jolting movements can injure the neck and back, causing it to become misaligned. I’d advise anyone who already suffers from back or neck pain to steer clear of rollercoasters. If you decide to ride, make sure to follow all safety precautions and see your chiropractor for an adjustment after your trip.”

· Gardening and yard work. “Yard work involves a lot of bending, stooping, twisting, squatting, and lifting,” Butler says. “Combine all of those, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a sore back and a misaligned spine. Warm up before an afternoon in the yard. Yoga, or any kind of stretching, and brisk walking are great ways to loosen up. When lifting, utilize your leg muscles, and hold objects close to the body. When mowing, avoid leaning far forward and take breaks.”

· Golf. When swinging a golf club, the lumbar spine undergoes a twisting motion, which can lead to disc herniation or chronic back pain. Butler says there are several ways to reduce the risk of lower back injury: proper stretching, core strengthening, and proper swing technique. “Also, it’s best not to carry your golf bag, which can weigh up to 30 or more pounds,” he says. “Use a pull-cart.”

· “Weekend warrior” pursuits. After being glued to an office chair for five days without any physical activity, Butler says it’s unwise on the weekend to engage in high-intensity sports or hard workouts. “Rather than risking back pain from a weekend of overexertion, he says, “get in 30 minutes of moderate exercise or more every day so you’re stronger and better conditioned.”

“A good rule of thumb is to ease into any physical activity you aren’t used to doing — especially after a long winter,” Butler says. “Listen to your body; if you feel pain or weakness, that’s your body telling you that it’s time to take a break. A healthy spine makes for a fun, pain-free summer.”

Most Embarrassing Fitness Questions

If you follow fitness trainers or enthusiasts on Instagram, we are besieged by women at the gym who look supremely confident, airbrushed and without a bead of sweat. The reality is, most of us don’t look or smell our best after a tough workout.  Not everyone is comfortable walking into a class of strangers in form-fitting gym clothes.  And what about the sounds our bodies make when we are working out?  What about those of us who want to exercise but feel we are too heavy to even begin a program?  Fortunately, we have Certified Fitness Trainer, Model Turned Fitness Expert, Instagram Fitness Guru & YouTube Sensation Vince Sant, co-founder of the online platform www.vshred.com  to answer the questions you are too shy to ask.

Why do I let out a little pee when I exercise?

Vince Sant explains that “This is very common amongst anyone who’s had a child. the term is stress incontinence, meaning you involuntarily leak out a little urine. It can happen when you exercise, laugh, or even sneeze.” First and foremost, don’t be embarrassed. Nearly every woman that’s given birth has experienced this. There are, however, two things you can do to improve stress incontinence says Vince, “Learn how to do Kegels, and practice engaging your pelvic floor in Pilates-based exercises. Both of these actions can help strengthen your pelvic floor and reduce the severity of your stress incontinence.”

Will running make my boobs sag?

 “Sag happens to all breasts that are natural. It’s normal for the collagen that keeps breasts firm to stretch out thanks to gravity, time, pregnancy, weight gain, or weight loss.” Although there’s limited research, Vince Sant says, “The up and down motion of running could logically contribute to sagging as well, but the health benefits of running definitely outweigh that possibility. If you wear the right sports bra, your breasts shouldn’t experience a lot of movement anyway. So, don’t be afraid to run!’

Why do I seem to sweat so much more than other people at the gym?

“How much you sweat is really individual, and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything positive or negative about your exercising ability,” says Vince. On average, men tend to sweat more than women, and if you are overweight you may sweat more near the end of your workout because it takes more for your body to cool itself down. Ultimately, it’s not a bad thing if you find yourself drenched in sweat while the person next to you on their machine seems to be relatively dry.

Why does running long distances make me have to poop?

Long distance running can aggravate some people’s digestive systems, particularly if you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). But you don’t necessarily have to have pre-existing digestive issues to get some unpleasant stomach symptoms on long runs. For example, studies show that as much as 50% of runners in a 10k race experience digestive issues, including runner’s trots. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but there are things you can do to combat the unpleasant reality of urgent, frequent bathroom trips. Vince suggests avoiding high-fiber foods a few days before a big race, staying well-hydrated, and avoid caffeine.

Why do I tend to pass gas during certain yoga poses?

Passing gas during the occasional downward dog is extremely common. Why? You’re bending and stretching, which massages the internal organs—which can sometimes stimulate your digestion. (There’s even a yoga pose called “wind reliever). Vince recommends, limiting any high fiber snacks beforehand, and stretching before your actual class to “eliminate” ahead of time.

What’s the best way to start exercising if I am completely out of shape?

Literally just put one foot in front of the other. A Chinese Philosopher once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And walking is nothing to be ashamed of. Vince stresses that “It really is exercise and there are all kinds of athletic people and celebrities in amazing shape who use it to stay that way. Get a pedometer and take at least 10,000 ‘baby steps’ a day and start improving your fitness.”

I have gym anxiety. What should I do?

There are four psychological reasons for gym anxiety: Not being sure what to do, comparing yourself to other people in the gym, feeling like people are judging you, and feeling like you don’t belong. What are a few ways to reduce gym anxiety?

Vince Sant provides some tips:

Ask friends how they feel about their own programs. You can even try to go to the gym with a friend, which is a great way to stop feeling like you’re getting judged.

Watch YouTube videos for each of the exercises you plan to do on your first day at the gym.

Wear workout clothes that you feel are both flattering and comfortable.

Pick a gym that is known for being more low key as opposed to a “meat market” or a “sceney gym.”

If going to the gym is too anxiety provoking, you can try an online fitness platform such as www.vshred.com

My Skin Chafes almost Everywhere: My Butt Cheeks, Under My Arms, Inner Thighs, How Do I Reduce the Pain?

Skin-to-skin and skin-to-clothing rubbing can cause a red, raw rash that can bleed, sting, and cause pain during your post-workout shower. Moisture and salt on the body make it worse. Underarms, inner thighs, along with the bra line (women), and nipples (men) are vulnerable spots. Vince advises, “Wear moisture-wicking, seamless, tagless gear. The fit is important. Baggy shirts have excess material that can cause irritation; a too-snug sports bra can dig into skin. Apply Vaseline, sports lube, Band-Aids or Nip Guards before you run. And moisturize after you shower. Drier skin tends to chafe more.

Am I too overweight to work out?

Forget the fancy equipment, you don’t need anything to start. Keep it low impact and rest when you need to. For example, Vince suggests the following, “Jog for 30 seconds. It doesn’t matter if you have to walk for 5 minutes to get your breath back, just do it, then jog for another 30 seconds. Do that 3 times. Then when you’ve done that for a couple of days, jog for 10 more seconds each time. Then only take 4.5 minutes to get your breath back. And as you lower the rest time, repeat it 5 times instead of 3. Keeping the overall workout time at around 20 minutes total is fine.” If you haven’t exercised for a while, the body heat, breathlessness, and sore muscles can be off-putting, but those feelings quickly become more manageable. If you have any concerns about your health and ability to work out, always consult with your doctor first.

Vincent Seth Sant

Fitness Expert & Co-Founder V Shred